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09/22/2006 Archived Entry: "Jim Bovard on America's torture czar, John Yoo"
JOHN YOO. HOLY CRAP. THAT IS ONE SICK INDIVIDUAL. Jim Bovard takes his rhetorical rapier to America's torture czar and lays open a man whose inner workings are even more putrid than you'd imagine from the policies he's advanced.
Not since Gen. Curtis LeMay has such a madman been tolerated within the United States power structure. And Yoo may be even more poisonous. LeMay at least could pretend that his ruthless pursuit of war was noble. And he could be publicly scorned. Yoo is an invisible bureaucratic worm, eating at America's innards, unseen.
I also hadn't realized that in addition to being America's chief torturer, he was the man who laid the foundations for the infamous "unitary" presidency, above all law. A worm? No, the original evil Grand Vizier.
From Jim's article:
Two weeks after 9/11, Yoo, in a memo to the White House, claimed that the attacks gave the U.S. government carte blanche for war anywhere in the world. Yoo suggested that “an American attack in South America or Southeast Asia might be a surprise to the terrorists,” since they were expecting the U.S. to target Afghanistan. Yoo assured the White House that “the President’s broad constitutional power ... would allow the President to [take] whatever actions he deems appropriate to pre-empt or respond to terrorist threats from new quarters.” Yoo’s assurances may have inspired Bush’s declaration a few weeks later that “So long as anybody’s terrorizing established governments, there needs to be a war.”
Yoo wrote a Torturers’ Emancipation Proclamation memo while serving as deputy assistant attorney general. He informed the White House in August 2002 that it could scorn federal law because “the President enjoys complete discretion in the exercise of his Commander-in-Chief authority and in conducting operations against hostile forces ... . we will not read a criminal statute as infringing on the President’s ultimate authority in these areas.” Thus, the “commander-in-chief” title automatically swallows up the rest of the Constitution.
Posted by Claire @ 06:34 PM CST